The San Diego Symphony has this week announced the appointment of 37 year old Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare as their new music director – effective from the commencement of the 2019/2020 season.
“When Rafael conducted the orchestra in January there was a deep connection, and the musical bond and obvious potential for their relationship was clear …” San Diego Symphony CEO Martha Gilmer has said.
“The musicians spoke of their ability to take artistic risks knowing that he was secure in his own vision and knowledge of the score … I could not be more excited about this musical partnership,” she has said.
“I had an immediate connection and chemistry with the orchestra … there was no wall between us, only a desire and eagerness to try new things which I find very exciting,” Rafael has said.
He will replace long time Music Director Jahja Ling – who retired from the position in May 2017 after 13 years at the helm.
A former 1st prize winner at the Malko Conducting Competition, Rafael currently serves as music director of the Ulster Orchestra, principal conductor of the Castleton Festival and honorary conductor of the Sinfonietta Cracovia.
He is married to cellist Alisa Weilerstein.